In a video message delivered to the world to recognize the New Year, Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres issued a "red alert" for 2018.
"When I took office one year ago, I appealed for 2017 to be a year for peace," he said. "Unfortunately, in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse."
This time around, Guterres said he is "not issuing an appeal." Instead, he is "issuing an alert—a red alert for our world." The U.N. chief pointed to ongoing conflicts, "global anxieties about nuclear weapons," rising inequalities and xenophobia, "horrific violations of human rights," and the climate crisis as leading reasons for worldwide alarm.
Calling for global unity to address these issues, Guterres urged world leaders "to make this New Year's resolution: Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals."